Investigators: Great Falls Fire Caused by Electrical Event

A Great Falls home fire on Saturday, Sept. 28 was caused by an electrical event, according to investigators.

An investigation by the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department found that the fire, which caused nearly $55,000 in damages, found that the fire was accidental in nature. It began on the outside of the one-story, single-family home after an electrical event linked to the outside flood. light.

Two residents, who were at home during the fire, were displaced. Red Cross assistance was offered but declined.

The fire happened at around 2:19 a.m. No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported

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Jerry’s Subs and Pizza in North Point Appears to Have Closed

Jerry’s Subs and Pizza in North Point Village Center appears to have closed.

The restaurant’s signage was removed late last week.

Jerry’s was located at 1432 North Point Village Center. The Reston location reopened in the center in June after a fire forced the business to close in January.

No other information was immediately available.

The village center has several other vacancies. Great China closed in early September. A building permit indicates a new restaurant is expected to replace the Chinese restaurant.

Photo by Laura Crielly

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Reston Association to Study Plans to Repurpose Hunters Woods Ball Field

Reston Association plans to explore ways to repurpose the Hunters Woods Ball Field using funds originally allocated for path lighting near Hunters Woods Village Center.

The field, which is located behind Reston Community Center, is no longer used by the Reston-Herndon Little League due to its distance from the nearest parking lot.

RA’s Board of Directors approved a motion to reallocate funds previously approved for pathway lighting at a meeting last Thursday (Sept. 26) to design, study and implement the project.

In tandem, RA plans to install 16 lights near the village center and the ball field. The roughly $100,000 project uses $81,300 in proffer commitment funds from the developer of Hunters Woods at Trails Edge, a senior living community on Colts Neck Road. The proffer is designated specifically for path lighting and cannot be used for any other purpose.

Larry Butler, RA’s Chief Operating Officer, said staff will work with the community to brainstorm possible ideas for the ball field. The Hunters Woods Neighborhood Coalition — which has long advocated for pathway lighting to improve safety in the area —  requested that RA examine the issue.

“We could do a lot of things there,” Butler said, adding the plan is in its early phases.

In a July 19 letter, the county’s planning staff indicating the ball field is classified as open space, which is designed for scenic or recreational purposes.

Meanwhile, RA is working with Dominion Energy to develop preliminary design plans for the pathway lighting project. The latest plan — which Butler said addresses the “area of most concern” —  is a scaled-back version of a 2014 plan to install 52 lights, which faltered due to limited funding.

The cost of the study is unclear, especially because RA will likely engage with a design architect to determine constraints on the site, including utility polls, Butler said.

The preliminary design calls for 16 LED, shoebox lights likely spread out by about 80 feet. The original plans did not call for LED lights.

Once plans are in place, the project will head to RA’s Design Review Board for a discussion and a vote.

File photo

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Halloween-Themed Triathlon Coming to Reston in October

Runners can take part in a Halloween-themed triathlon in Reston in late October.

YMCA Reston and CORE Foundation are hosting a Trick-or- Tri triathlon on Oct. 27 beginning around 9 a.m. at the YMCA Reston (12196 Sunset Hills Road).

Participants will be tasked with a 10-minute indoor swim, a 30-minute ride on a stationary bike and a 20 minute run on a treadmill. Everyone is encouraged to dress up in a costume, though event organizers ask that people do not wear makeup in the pool.

Registration is $35 for YMCA members and $50 for the public and includes a swag bag full of gear and snacks as well as a free massage and stretch.

Participants will be awarded based on distance in each category, and all categories will be considered equally. There will also be a prize for the best costume.

Those wishing to participate can pick up their packets at the YMCA on Friday (Oct. 25) from 5-7 p.m. and Saturday (Oct. 26) from 9-11 a.m.

Event organizers are also looking for volunteers. Those interested can sign up online.

Image via Google Maps

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Brookfield to Launch Self-driving Vehicles at Halley Rise Groundbreaking

Brookfield Properties will launch its self-driving vehicles at its groundbreaking ceremony for Halley Rise, a new $1.4 billion mixed-use district in Reston that is set to break ground next week.

The developer plans to break ground on the first phase of the development, which is located off the Dulles Access Road and Reston Parkway, on Monday (Oct. 7).

The 36-acre redevelopment project includes 1,500 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of office space, and 250,000 square feet of retail. Wegmans grocery store is set to anchor the development and a “modern movie theater” is planned at the development.

The groundbreaking ceremony will also demonstrations of self-driving vehicles by autonomous vehicle technology company Optimus Ride. The vehicles are expected to be a central part of the development. The company has already begun deploying self-driving cars in the office park, which is known as the Reston Crescent, to move employees between office buildings to parking lots.

The first phase of the development is expected to be complete by 2022. The project is located at 12010 Sunrise Valley Drive.

Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government

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Monday Morning Notes

Sunrise Valley Elementary School Turns 40 — “When Sunrise Valley Elementary School (SVES) was established in September 1978, it was still under construction. Students were initially bused to South Lakes High School to attend classes. The school officially opened its doors on Sept. 4, 1979 with Principal William “Bill” Berkeley Martin welcoming the first 600 students as they walked through the front entrance, according to the SVES website.” [Fairfax County Times]

County Police to Offer Car Seat Safety Checks — The Fairfax County Police Department is hosting several free car seat safety and install events on a monthly basis this year. The Reston District stations will offer reviews by appointment only on Oct. 17, Nov. 14, and Dec. 12. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Metro to Weigh Fare Increase — Metro could raise fares or make other changes next year, a prospect that is drawing pushback from the Metro Board’s Riders’ Advisory Council… The council had a budget briefing and discussion earlier this month, and urged the board to think more creatively about fare changes that could get riders onto the system. [WTOP]

Photo by Jay Westcott

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Top Stories This Week

Before we head off into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

  1. Fairfax County School Board to Vote on Changes to School Names with Confederate Ties
  2. Aslin Beer Co. Begins Construction on New Location in Herndon
  3. Lorton Teen to Stand Trial as Adult in Killing of Reston Couple
  4. Planning Commission Approves Isaac Newton Square Redevelopment Plan
  5. Two Rabid Animals Found in Herndon

If you have ideas on stories we should cover, email us at [email protected] or submit an anonymous tip.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below.

Photo by Charlotte Geary

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Reston Multicultural Festival and More This Weekend in Reston

The annual Reston Multicultural Festival is set to celebrate the community’s rich diversity tomorrow (Saturday) from 11 a.m. to6 p.m. at Lake Anne Plaza.

The festival offers a mix of song, food, dance and art at the plaza. It is hosted by Lake Anne Plaza and co-sponsored by Reston Association.

Attendees are encouraged to dress in their multicultural attire at the free festival. This year’s event includes a naturalization ceremony, three performance stages, family arts and crafts, a global cafe, and a global market.

More information about the event is available online.

Tomorrow (Saturday)

  • Beer Run (9:45 a.m.) — Join the Lake Anne Brew House for a weekly Saturday morning beer run around Lake Anne. The lake loop is 1.5 miles and all ages and paces are welcome.
  • Reston Friends Semi-Annual Book Sale (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) — The book sale continues today and tomorrow (Sunday) at Reston Regional Library. Thousands of gently-used books will be available for purchase.
  • PSV Race to Make It All Better (8:30-11:30 a.m.) — Pediatric Specialists of Virginia will host their fifth annual fundraiser and 5k in Reston Town Center to support patients and families in need. The race and health fair also includes booth with giveaways, health tips, activities and prizes.

Sunday (Sept. 29)

  • Walk to End Alzheimer’s (1;30-4:30 p.m..) — The Alzheimer’s Foundation hosts its annual walk, to raise funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. The event is open for all and there is no fee to register. Participants are encouraged to fundraise to take part in the walk.
  • Shear Madness (2-5:45 p.m.) — Enjoy a trip to see Shear Madness at the Kennedy Center. The trip begins with bus pick-up at Reston Association’s headquarters. Tickets are $51 for RA members and $56 for all others.

Photo via RCC

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Reston Association Mulls Increasing Member Assessments By Five Percent Next Year

Members assessments could increase by five percent in 2020, according to the first budget draft reviewed by the Reston Association Board of Directors Thursday night.

The plan, which will undergo revisions before a final board vote in November, pitches increasing the rate to $728, a $35 increase from the previous year. The current assessment rate is $693, an $11 increase from the 2018 rate.

At the Thursday meeting, RA’s CEO Hank Lynch — who has been working with staff over the last several months to identify new and creative ways to manage RA’s budget — explained the changes to the fee as “an increase of less than 10 cents per day.”

Board Director Ven Iyer called Lynch’s description a “very stealthy way” to represent the assessment increase.

Lynch said the proposed budget includes roughly $390,000 in one-time capital spending, including improvements to the Lake House to increase rental revenue, the installation of a yurt as a new summer camp classroom and meeting space, “major” improvements to RA’s Lake Anne Plaza operations, and six permanent pickleball courts.

The budget would also fund five additional employees for covenants, social media IT to address a members’ request for a community app and other needs, land use, member services, and business engagement and sales to find ways to grow non-assessment revenue.

In a recent news release, Reston Association indicated that the member assessment rate would “avoid the past practice of using the association’s reserve funds to pay down the fee.” That financial practice was used by the board in over the last three years — a move that underwrote assessment rates by roughly $1.7 million in supplements.

Lynch said he hopes to find new resources of non-assessment revenue in the future in order to avoid using surplus cash to pay down fees.

In a statement on RA’s website, Lynch said that practice was unsustainable.

A working session on the budget is planned in October.

Photo via YouTube

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Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce Names New President and CEO

Charles Kapur, a lifelong long resident of Northern Virginia and a professional in the banking industry, will lead the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce as President and Chief Executive Officer.

“It is an honor to serve the business community as the President and CEO of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce,” stated Kapur. “Reston is a community unlike any other in Northern Virginia – it has a profound appreciation of its history, a diversity of cultural and economic opportunities for businesses and residents alike, and an enthusiasm for the growth of this region.

Kapur succeeds Mark Ingrao, who left the chamber shortly before his 10-year anniversary with the organization to lead the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association.

After joining the chamber’s Board of Directors in 2011, Kapur co-chaired the membership committee, served as treasurer and chair-elect, and completed two terms as chair.

Maggie Parker, co-chair of the chamber’s board, described Kapur as a “consummate professional.”

“He has devoted himself to Reston and Northern Virginia both as a businessman and volunteer for the past decade. We are indeed fortunate that he will be leading our business community’s biggest advocate, the GRCC,” Parker wrote in a statement.

Kapur kickstarted his career in community banking in 2001. He currently serves on the board of the Greater Reston Reston Arts Center and the Ashburn Rotary Club as a founding member and fundraising director.

In the past, Kapur has served on the boards of the Ashburn Society of Virginia, ArtsFairfax, and ACTS of Prince William County. He has been honored with the chamber’s annual President’s Award in 2016 and the Pinnacle Award last year.

Kapur’s position begins on Oct. 2. His first work will include preparing the chamber’s policy positions for the upcoming legislative session n Richmond and launching a new information series for members.

He has a bachelor’s degree in management from George Mason University and graduated from the Virginia Bankers Association of Bank Management in 2013. He lives in Bristow with his wife and two daughters.

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Fairfax County Adds New Glass Drop-Off Center in Reston

Residents can drop off glass for recycling at a new purple dumpster at the Reston South Park and Ride lot. The bin, which is located on the southeast corner of the lot, is part of the county’s efforts to encourage glass recycling.

Most recycled glass in curbside recycling bins ends up in landfills because the glass breaks during transportation to the county’s recycling facility and mixes with other recyclable materials, according to the county. Collected glass will be used for construction materials.

All colors of emptied glass — including bottles and jars — are acceptable. Residue should be removed from the material before recycling.

Items that include food, plastic bags, lamps or light bulbs, ceramics, mirrors, windows, porcelain and glass sheets will not be accepted. Glass recyclable will also be accepted for collection in curbside pickup.

The regional glass recycling program, which is called Purple Can Club, kicked off in April. The county partnered with the City of Alexandria, Prince William County, and Arlington County to bring several glass-only bins to Northern Virginia.

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Friday Morning Notes

Herndon Middle School Gets At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program –The school is one of 13 in the county to receive the at-risk afterschool meals program. The same meals will be available at no separate charge to all participants. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Reston Friends Semi-Annual Book Sale Continues — Thousands of used books will be available for purchase during the sale, which continues into the weekend. The sale is on today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Reston Regional Library. [Reston Regional Library]

International Walk to School Day is Next Week — County schools will take part in International Walk to School Day on October 2 in  “an effort to promote physical activity and reduce traffic congestion and pollution near schools. Students and employees are encouraged to bike or walk to school and work. Parents are encouraged to accompany their children to school, and to work with their school or PTA to assemble bike trains or walking groups for the event. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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A New Tiki Bar and Thai Restaurant is Coming to Reston Next Year

A new tiki bar and Thai restaurant is coming to Reston next year.

Tiki Thai, which describes itself as Virginia’s “first premier tiki bar,” plans to open at 12100 Sunset Hills Road in the spring of next year.

The restaurant and bar will join a number of ground-floor retail tenants, including Famous Toastery and BGR The Burger Joint, at JBG Smith’s RTC West development.

Permits filed with the county indicate the restaurant will also include outdoor seating. Tiki bars are often known for their exotic-themed drinks, especially rum-based mixed drinks.

Earlier this year, the Black Squirrel backed away from plans to open a new beer bar in the development. Details of why the DC-based bar backed out of a previously-inked deal were not made public.

Photo via Tiki Thai/website

 

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Fairfax County Board Approves Plan to Redevelop Old Reston Avenue Properties

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan to redevelop a three-story office building on Old Reston Avenue into two, three-story office buildings and a campus-style setting.

American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association will redevelop its headquarters, which are located at 1856 Old Reston Avenue. The 5.2-acre site is home to a historic A. Smith Bowman Manor House.

A 45,000-square-foot office building is planned on the north end of the property and a 94,000-square-foot office is planned on the southern end. Both structures will be connected by an underground parking garage and a shared conference facility. A 6,600-square-foot rooftop terrace will also run between the two buildings.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said the plan was a good balance of “old and new.” She also said the new buildings would complement the historic structures that are already on the site.

“I think it’s a great application,” Hudgins said at a board meeting earlier this week.

AAFMAA is working with DBI Architects to design the project. Modern-looking buildings will act a backdrop to the historic manor house, which was built in 1899 and is listed on the Fairfax County Inventory of Historic Sites.

It was originally constructed to be the Wiehle Town Hall and was used as a church, general store, and distillery.

AAFAA is a nonprofit organization that offers life insurance and survivors services to the U.S. Armed Forces communities.

Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government

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Herndon High School to Expand Afterschool Programs for At-Risk Students

Herndon High School and Cornerstones have received $191,000 from the Virginia Department of Education, a grant that will allow the school to expand afterschool activities for at-risk students.

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant will help the Herndon High School 21st Century Community Learning Center, which will provide afterschool programming to improve academic performance and support developmental wellbeing.

Students will receive guidance on college, careers, life skills, community involvement, and cultural awareness. An eight-week program will supplement the school-year program.

The program will be open to between 50 and 60 students. The success of the program will be measured through objectives like improved reading and math skills, increased family engagement, reduced dropout rate, and increased emotional and social learning competencies. Rising ninth-grade students will also be involved in the center.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Education covers 32 percent of the total cost of the three-year program. Additional funding will be provided from the following community partners:

  • Herndon High School
  • Fairfax County Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services
  • Cornerstones
  • Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services
  • Childcare Resources
  • Herndon United Methodist Church
  • Town of Herndon

Cornerstones will help develop the curriculum and activities for the project.

Photo via FCPS

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